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/photos/community?hl=en
3/30/17
Original Poster
Carlos Geru Limardo

Google Photos iOS and iCloud Photo Library simultaneously - Storage full

How does Google Photos iOS upload pictures and videos that are not downloaded to my iPhone 6 Plus iOS 10.3 (and previously iOS 10.2.1) but are in iCloud Photo Library? It appears that the picutres and videos are being downloaded locally to my device, from iCloud Photo Library, as Google Photos iOS checks and then uploads the photos. This makes sense... and it also doesn't. I have 'Optimize iPhone Storage' enabled and Google Photos iOS is making that useless... The only option I see that could help is 'Free up space' option in Google Photos iOS, but I want to make sure this is not going to remove photos from iCloud Photo Library.

Will using 'Free up space' in Google Photos iOS delete pictures an videos from iCloud Photo Library?
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All Replies (66)
Chris Guld
3/30/17
Chris Guld
In my experience, YES - using the Free Up Space command in Google Photos will delete the photos from the device, which in turn deletes them from iCloud.
The relationship between iCloud Photo Library and google Photos is not intuitive!
You can turn off iCloud Photo library - and that will delete all photos from device but keep them in iCloud. This will not affect any photos already uploaded to Google Photos, but, since it removes the photos from the device google will no longer have access to them if it hasn't already uploaded them.

Does that make sense? 
Bottom line, Do NOT use the Free Up Space command with iCloud Photo Library on.
3/30/17
Original Poster
Carlos Geru Limardo
Your answer does help but it's also frustrating. I'm sure many people would like to keep their photos backed up to more than one location for redundancy and piece of mind. And both services offer different features. For me, iCloud Photo Library is better since it is integrated for my devices (also have iPad Pro and MacBook Pro) and backs up pictures and videos in full resolution unless I decide to pay for Google storage (in addition to iCloud storage). Ugh, I don't know what to do other than disable Back up & sync on Google Photos iOS. Is Google planning on providing a remedy to this issue?
Chris Guld
3/30/17
Chris Guld
Carlos, I agree with backing up to more than one location - personally I use OneDrive and Amazon Photos for my redundancy. Both OneDrive and Amazon photos have the same philosophy as Google Photos: once the photos are in the cloud, their job is done, they don't need the photos on the device any more. 
It's Apple iCloud that is different - iCloud's job is to keep all your devices in sync. A photo on one device is on ALL devices. A photo deleted from one device is deleted from all devices.
Here's a sketch of how I visualize the difference: (you'll probably need to click it to full size)


Chris Guld
3/30/17
Chris Guld
oh ... one more comment - it is perfectly ok to keep both iCloud photo library and Google Photos running, as long as you have enough storage space on your devices to keep your photos stored there. You cannot delete photos without iCloud photo library synchronizing that deletion to your other Apple devices.
Chris Guld
3/30/17
Chris Guld
oops, yet one more comment ... iCloud Photo Library has a setting to "Optimize photo storage" If you have that on, it will save a lot of storage space.
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Jean Waterman
2/15/18
Jean Waterman
Hi I njavascript:void(0)ed google pictures from icloud in picture form 
 
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